Staying Cool This Summer, Naturally: Ceiling Fans to the Rescue

http://www.motherearthnews.com/green-homes/staying-cool-ceiling-fans.aspx

In my last blog, I explained how we can use cool nighttime air to cool our homes naturally, and in the process reduce air conditioning costs. This technique works really well, especially early and late in the cooling season. The only drawback is that you have to pay attention to outside temperatures so you know when to open your windows to cool your home down naturally.

There are a host of other things you can do to cool your home down during the cooling season. One very effective tool is the ceiling fan.

Ceiling fans circulate air in a room. Air moving over the surface of your body on a hot day naturally cools you down. Go ahead and fan yourself right now with a book. Even though the air passing over your body is at the same temperature as the air in the room, your body feels cooler. A ceiling fan can lower the effective temperature — how cool it feels to you — by around 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you have cooled your home down overnight using cool nighttime air, or even an air conditioner, try running a ceiling fan in the morning while you work at your desk or do chores. Turn the ceiling fan off when you leave the room, though. They’re only effective if you are in the room.

Even if the temperature in your home climbs to 80 or 82 later in the day, a ceiling fan will make it feel like 76 to 78, which is mighty comfortable when it is 97 outside.

Ceiling fans use a lot less energy than air conditioners, so they’ll save you enormous amounts of money on your utility bill. Ceiling fans used in conjunction with air conditioners allow you to raise the thermostat setting by up to four degrees. Running the air conditioner less often will save money, too.